Growing up

suitcase.jpgFour & a half sleeps, two long car journeys and one wedding to go.  Oh, that’s a family wedding in there.  Make it three and two half-sleeps.  And then we go on holiday!

So, at the weekend, it was time to go shopping.  Our travel bags have finally fallen apart.  At this point you have to understand that I’ve never bought a suitcase.  Never really grown up, you see.  We’ve always travelled with those soft squashy grips that have somehow been acquired, rather than bought.  Or rucksacs.  Years of travelling with rucksacks.  So it was that at the weekend our middle-aged selves were spotted in Debenhams (my mother would be proud; that was always her favourite shop) perusing the massed ranks of suitcases and trying to figure out what it was that we needed.  A big one and a small one?  Two medium sized ones?  A hard one and a squashy one?  And why was the greeny blue one £10 cheaper than the blue one?  All down to the colour, apparently.  Then there were the mental gymnastics required – how many litres volume and which ones could go as hand luggage when required.  In the end, we just gave up and bought two suitcases that looked nice.

Of course, as soon as we got them home:- “These are huge! Did we really need them this big?”  But we’re very grown up now.  We’ve got proper suitcases.

Now, some might note a milestone of growing up as the first joke.  (We’re still dealing with that one, by the way.  Yesterday’s offering:- “What do you call an Italian who has an arm cut off?  A man with a speech impediment.”)  Others long for the privacy that growing up brings.  Been there, but almost too far back to remember clearly.  And then, of course, there’s the suitcases.  Our current milestone?  Read on…

While we were out, GP1 tore himself away from the XBox long enough to phone. 

“Mum, can you get me some Dupe aftershave from Boots?”  Please bear in mind that he needs to shave at least once a month.  Bum fluff.

“Some what?  What’s Dupe?” 

“Dupe.  J-O-O-P.”

“Oh, Joop!”  as if I knew.  I do now.

To set the scene, the swimming club championships were happening that afternoon but the real happening was the evening disco and prize giving.  Where the harem would be in attendance.

Anyhow, GPD and I scoured the aftershave shelves in Boots; no sign of Joop.  So we asked.

“Try the perfume counter.”   ??@@*!?!  Perfume counter?  We’re talking monosyllabic grunting 15yr old boy here.

Sure enough, there was Joop safely locked in a glass case.  £20 – £45 for a tiny bottle.  I laughed.  GPD phoned GP1 and entered into extensive negotiations worthy of Northern Rock about the state of his bank balance and whether perhaps Lynx would do.  But it seemed that the siren calls demanded Joop so who were we to argue?  (The very same sirens who’ve been telling me for months that I need to buy him hair straighteners.  Hair straighteners?  I’ve been telling them to club together if it’s that essential and buy them themselves…) 

I really should be grateful that 1) he’s washing,  2) he’s saved enough of his hard-earned pocket money (hard-earned by his mum and dad that is) to spend on Joop and 3) he’s not spending this aforesaid pocket money on drink, drugs and cigarettes .  Not yet that is.

And he is clearly growing up.

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4 thoughts on “Growing up

  1. What amazes me is how needs like this can get so effectively implanted in the brains of our young people. Maybe there’s a lesson there somewhere for how we market school courses?

  2. We’ve been there and done that on the suitcases front and it’s one of the hardest things to buy! We bought some cases last year, brought them home, took them for a wee test drive round the kitchen, decided they were the wrong size and returned them to the shop.

    My 15-year old daughter and I both laughed at the story of GP1 and the JOOP, but probably for different reasons. She says “Lynx is well nice and the boys at school wear it.”

    On the hair straighteners front, tell him not to buy the really expensive ones but make sure the ones he does buy have solid ceramic plates and curved edges, and preferably that they switch themselves off after a certain amount of time. And GPM, you will get used to the smell of burning hair every morning, evening, and other times too!

    The event that made me realise my daughter was growing up was her first trip to town and the cinema with friends rather than parents. That was three years ago and I still remember how anxious I felt!

  3. Hello Random Mum. What’s happened to your blog? Suitcases are packed – maybe a little too big for a hot holiday chez family where we don’t need to take much but never mind. I don’t think there’s much danger of eldest son buying hair straighteners. Now, the girls buying tehm for him – that’s an entirely different matter! And I too remember that first solo trip to town.

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